Pennsylvania House Leaders join Texas SCOTUS suit against Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania’s House speaker and majority leader on Thursday filed an amici curiae brief with the Supreme Court against Pennsylvania and in favor of Texas’s lawsuit against the commonwealth and three other states.

While the General Assembly will take no role in choosing the President, some Republicans want the procedural issues and questions addressed by the United States Supreme Court. They have filed friend of the court briefs in support of the Texas lawsuit.

CONSIDER THE PROCEDURAL ISSUES AND QUESTIONS

The brief (pdf) filed by Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler and Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, both Republicans, requests that the Supreme Court “carefully consider the procedural issues and questions raised by the Plaintiff concerning the administration of the 2020 General Election in Pennsylvania.”

“The unimpeachability of our elections requires clear procedures of administration so that everyone gets a fair shake. Unfortunately, outside actors have so markedly twisted and gerrymandered the Commonwealth’s Election Code to the point that amici find it unrecognizable from the laws that they enacted,” they wrote, adding that the state of Texas “raised important questions about how this procedural malfeasance affected the 2020 General Election.”

THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE LEGISLATURES WAS USURPED

Seven Republican congressmen — John Joyce, Fred Keller, Mike Kelly, Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler and Glenn “GT” Thompson — signed onto a joint filing with 99 other federal lawmakers from across the country. Their brief argues that the legislatures in the four states have rules on how the appointment of presidential electors should have been conducted, but in the lead up to the election, “those rules were deliberately changed by both state and non-state actors.”

“The clear authority of those state legislatures to determine the rules for appointing electors was usurped at various times by governors, secretaries of state, election officials, state courts, federal courts, and private parties,” the Congress-members wrote, asking the court to “determine the constitutional validity of any ballots cast under rules and procedures established by actors or public bodies other than state legislatures.”

In their own brief in support, Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, speaker of the Pennsylvania House, and Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre, the House majority leader, said they are taking no position on the remedies requested by Texas. But as background offered to the court, accused actors of using COVID-19 as a “pretext to eviscerate the election integrity provisions” of the election code, even though the Legislature included “preexisting safeguards” in its reforms last year.

Pennsylvania’s lawyers argue that Texas lacks standing to bring the claims, which are “moot, meritless and dangerous.”

Now they have Pennsylvania officials joining in with Texas.


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